Los Angeles, AT&T Release Earthquake Notification App
Friday, January 04, 2019 | Comments

AT&T and the city of Los Angeles released ShakeAlertLA, a mobile app designed to alert residents in Los Angeles County of an earthquake. The app is designed to send push notifications that an earthquake has occurred, potentially giving residents critical seconds of notice before shaking reaches them.

ShakeAlertLA is a pilot project designed to alert users when a regional sensor network detects seismic activity equal to or greater than magnitude 5.0. The application includes maps that help users visualize the earthquake’s epicenter in relation to where they are. The app also has tools to build a readiness plan, equip citizens with local response information and deliver details on support services for recovery efforts.

“Angelenos should have every chance to protect themselves and their families when there’s a major earthquake,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We created the ShakeAlertLA app because getting a few seconds’ heads up can make a big difference if you need to pull to the side of the road, get out of an elevator, or drop, cover and hold on.”

ShakeAlertLA is based on seismic data from a West Coast-wide network of sensors that detect earthquakes. The sensors are placed along fault lines and send data to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists. When an earthquake strikes, information is sent to the app and pushed as an alert to active app subscribers. The farther a ShakeAlertLA user is from the epicenter of an earthquake, the greater the warning that user may receive, while a user who is located closer to the epicenter may receive less warning. Users may receive the alert before, during or after shaking.

AT&T and Los Angeles are also exploring ways to use technology to solve problems such as traffic congestion and public safety. The groups are considering deploying internet of things (IoT) solutions, ranging from digital kiosks to structural monitoring to digital infrastructure, across the city including underserved neighborhoods.

ShakeAlertLA is free and offers both English and Spanish versions. The app is available for download on iOS and Android smartphones and can be used on any carrier’s network.

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